The Crisis of Islam by Bernard Lewis
Holy War and Unholy Terror

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Synopsis

In his first book since What Went Wrong? Bernard Lewis examines the historical roots of the resentments that dominate the Islamic world today and that are increasingly being expressed in acts of terrorism. He looks at the theological origins of political Islam and takes us through the rise of militant Islam in Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, examining the impact of radical Wahhabi proselytizing, and Saudi oil money, on the rest of the Islamic world.

The Crisis of Islam ranges widely through thirteen centuries of history, but in particular it charts the key events of the twentieth century leading up to the violent confrontations of today: the creation of the state of Israel, the Cold War, the Iranian Revolution, the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan, the Gulf War, and the September 11th attacks on the United States.

While hostility toward the West has a long and varied history in the lands of Islam, its current concentration on America is new. So too is the cult of the suicide bomber. Brilliantly disentangling the crosscurrents of Middle Eastern history from the rhetoric of its manipulators, Bernard Lewis helps us understand the reasons for the increasingly dogmatic rejection of modernity by many in the Muslim world in favor of a return to a sacred past. Based on his George Polk Award–winning article for The New Yorker, The Crisis of Islam is essential reading for anyone who wants to know what Usama bin Ladin represents and why his murderous message resonates so widely in the Islamic world.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Bernard Lewis

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BERNARD LEWIS is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies Emeritus at Princeton University, the author of many books, and is internationally recognized as the greatest historian of the Middle East.BUNTZIE ELLIS CHURCHILL served for twenty-three years as president of the World Affairs Council of Philadephia and for a decade hosted the daily radio show World Views.
 
Published March 25, 2003 by Modern Library. 224 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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“The custodianship of holy places [in Saudi Arabia] and the revenues of oil have given worldwide impact to what would otherwise have been an extremist fringe in a marginal country,” writes Lewis—an extremist fringe among whose notable products is Usama bin Ladin, as Lewis spells it, whose “declar...

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Kirkus Reviews

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The dean of Islamic studies in America ponders the current state of what is both a religion and a political system, and finds it wanting.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Crisis of Islam: Holy War...

Publishers Weekly

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This lean, muscular volume, an expansion of Lewis's George Polk Award-winning New Yorker article, sheds much-needed light on the complicated and volatile Middle East. To locate the origins of anti-Ame

Mar 01 2003 | Read Full Review of The Crisis of Islam: Holy War...

The Sunday Times

Welcome to your preview of the Sunday TimesTo see the full article you need to subscribeThe Department of Energy & Climate Change - England - CompetitiveDepartment of Health - UK - CompetitiveDepartment of Health - UK - Salary - £63,000 per annumDepartment for Work and Pensions (DWP) - England - ...

Apr 13 2003 | Read Full Review of The Crisis of Islam: Holy War...

ReviewAtlas.com

As the fall of Gadhafi appeared to bring an end to the era of Arab dictatorships (with Syria yet unresolved), I read again a classic survey of Islamic history and culture.

Nov 02 2011 | Read Full Review of The Crisis of Islam: Holy War...

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